According to Richard Branson, the UN may be about to call on governments around the world to end the war on drugs and decriminalise the use and possession of them once and for all.
The founder of Virgin claims to have been showed a report by the UN’s Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) which reveals a dramatic change on the organisation’s stance on drug control. Branson, along with some of the world’s media was sent the document under embargo but he chose to go public after fearing the organisation would later change their mind. He commented:
“As I’m writing this, I am hearing that at least one government is putting an inordinate amount of pressure on the UNODC. Let us hope the UNODC, a global organisation that is part of the UN and is supposed to do what is right for the people of the world, does not do a remarkable volte-face at the last possible moment and bow to pressure by not going ahead with this important move. The war on drugs has done too much damage to too many people already.”
Just hours after Branson’s announcement, the UN denied the claim and released the following statement:
“The briefing paper on decriminalisation, intended for dissemination and discussion at a conference in Kuala Lumpur in neither a final nor formal document from the UNODC and cannot be read as a statement of UNODC policy. It remains under review and UNODC regrets that, on this occasion, there has been an unfortunate misunderstanding about the nature and intent of this briefing paper.”
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